The day Bernard Tapie almost brought Maradona to Marseille

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Diego Maradona enjoyed an unforgettable seven-year spell at Napoli between 1984 and 1991, but it would have been an entirely different story had he completed a move to Marseille in 1989.

The late Bernard Tapie, the then-president of the French club, almost signed Maradona that year, but the move failed to materialise.

The Argentine had agreed a move to bring an end to his time in Italy, but one major obstacle remained in his way: Napoli president Corrado Ferlaino.

Ferlaino has been described as "the owner of Maradona", but Maradona ensured Tapie that he could convince him to let him leave.

A new meeting was then held between Marseille and Maradona in Naples, in which he was promised a house in an exclusive area and a garage for all his cars.

Former Marseille director of football Michel Hidalgo was at the meeting, and he revealed Maradona's reply to these promises.

"He threw me the car keys and said to me: 'Will you come and get my Ferraris?'" Hidalgo told L'Equipe.

However, it soon became clear that the move would be impossible to complete, as the negotiators were invited to leave Naples "at gunpoint", according to Mundo Deportivo.

Maradona would go on to help Napoli lift the Scudetto in the 1989/90 season whilst Marseille went on to lift the Champions League in 1993, but it all could have been completely different had he made the switch to the south of France club.

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